DACA / Undocumented Students

Syracuse University DACA/Undocumented Students Solidarity Statement

Syracuse University has a long, proud history of/for its commitment to diversity, social justice, civic engagement and cultural pluralism. In order to honor that commitment as a higher education institution, we must continue to mindfully develop a student body that is not only diverse, but also informed, socially aware and truly committed to seriously engaging with all members of the University community. It is our belief that the future of the 2012 executive action, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), merits further discussion among the SU community. DACA has granted many youth and young adults the ability to be gainfully employed and pursue advanced educational opportunities, thereby becoming contributing members of society.

Syracuse University welcomes all students. We were reminded as an academic community that it is our responsibility to support our community of Dreamers, who are eligible for deportation if lack of action among Congress and the President results in jeopardizing the opportunity for these young people to legally remain in the only country many of whom have only known for most of their entire lives.

The University has demonstrated support for our community of Dreamers. In a December 7, 2016 message to the University community, Chancellor Kent Syverud charged members of the SU community to work together to ensure all members of the community are protected from physical harm, discrimination and intimidation. An Ad Hoc Committee on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)/Undocumented Students was formed in February 2017. The committee focused on establishing opportunities for dialogue and reflection among students, faculty and staff regarding this important issue. A report with was made to the Chancellor in late May 2017 with specific recommendations as to how best to support our DACA students. All recommendations were approved.

We must continue to work and advocate for our DACA students. It is imperative that, as a University, we are vigilant to the specific challenges this population faces. We must ensure adequate resources are provided to allow them to be informed of their rights, feel protected in their surroundings, and achieve successful completion of their academic course of study.

Syracuse University stands firmly behind our DACA/undocumented students. We must continue to remain informed and vigilant about federal policies. We will continue to support and fight for the best interests of all of our students, whether they are DACA, undocumented or mixed status students. We believe in their promise for the future of this country and for Syracuse University.

Know Your Rights

Legal Support at Syracuse University (not official legal counsel)

  • Jennifer Gavilondo, Associate General Counsel, Office of University Counsel, jgavilon@syr.edu

Legal Resources in Syracuse

Campus Support and Resources

Below are numerous resources that can help you navigate our campus community. Some individuals have been highlighted who are sensitive to the needs of DACA/Undocumented students and students with “mixed-status families”.

DACA/Undocumented Student Liaison
Huey Hsiao
Associate Director
Office of Multicultural Affairs
548 Bird Library
222 Waverly Ave.


Admissions and Financial Aid
The Office of Admissions is generally your first point of contact at Syracuse University. Undocumented students and students with DACA status should connect with the International Admissions team if they have questions. We are very happy to assist you with navigating the nuances of the application process to Syracuse University.

Jennifer Mathews
Director, International Admissions
200 Crouse-Hinds Hall


Institutional need-based aid is available for undocumented undergraduate students regardless of DACA status. Aid is based on your completion of the CSS Profile application. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not required. For more information on how to apply, please contact Laura Ortiz.

Scholarship Information

Laura Ortiz
Assistant Director
200 Bowne Hall

Career Services
Syracuse University Career Services can help connect your dots, from your first year through your last, and beyond. With a team focused on helping you discover your passions, explore your options, build skills and make connections, we can assist you in discovering who you want to be and where you want to go. We can assist you in finding internships and job opportunities, exploring graduate and law programs or discussing your career goals.

Michael LaMarche
Director of Career Services, Assessment and Student Success
Women’s Building, Suite 310


Counseling at the Barnes Center at The Arch
The counseling team at the Barnes Center at The Arch supports and enhances student health and wellness by providing comprehensive and holistic mental health, substance abuse, and sexual assault and relationship violence-related services. Operating within a multicultural framework and with a social justice orientation, the Barnes Center strives to assist students by providing support during times of crisis, providing advocacy when needed, facilitating problem resolution, enhancing coping skills, promoting personal growth, and supporting academic success.

Karin DeLeon
Staff Therapist
Barnes Center at The Arch


Dean of Students Office
Case managers provide comprehensive prevention, outreach and follow up services to identify and assist students in need of support in managing any aspects of their well-being. Case Managers work collaboratively with both off and on campus resources to proactively identify and serve students in need. Case managers take a strength based approach and strives to create safer spaces for all in which resilience, self-advocacy, and personal and academic success are achieved.

Effective case management prioritizes the safety and security of the University community and works to ensure that individual students have access to appropriate resources and support services.

Emma Moteyunas
Associate Director
Dean of Students Office
310 Steele Hall

Finding your “Home”
These departments, offices, and centers are more than just places to take a class, listen to a lecture, or participate in a program. They are places where you can find someone who will listen to you and that can provide community and support. They can be a place where you can find a “home”. Participating in a mentoring program is great way to actively learn how to navigate the campus, and to be supported in engaging in the student experience. A list of mentoring programs can also be found below.


Graduate School
Graduate study and research have been recognized as a critical piece of Syracuse University’s mission since its inception in 1870. Today, every school and college at Syracuse offers graduate study, and the University awards approximately 1,700 master’s degrees and certificates of advanced study and 150 doctoral degrees annually. In all, more than 135 graduate degree and certificate programs are offered at the University.

Glenn Wright
Director of Programs
304 Lyman Hall


Public Safety
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure living, learning and working environment in partnership with those it serves by respectfully employing the highest professional standards and providing exceptional services to the Syracuse University community.

It is not DPS’s responsibility to enforce federal laws regarding immigration status, and DPS will not inquire about the immigration status of students.

Kathleen Pabis
005 Sims Hall

Off-Campus Resources

Contacts within relevant multicultural student organizations

Here is a small sampling of student organizations that may interest undocumented students.

Here is the list of over 300 student organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a social security number in order to apply for college?
A Social Security number is not required to apply to Syracuse University.

Can an undocumented student apply for admission without DACA?

I am a DACA student applying outside of the State of New York. Can I still apply?
Yes, Syracuse University is a private institution, and we have enrolled undocumented students from many different states.

Is there eligibility for federal or state financial aid, or programs such as Higher Educational Opportunity Program (HEOP)?
Students in an undocumented or DACA status are not eligible for Title IV Federal or state financial aid.

Are DACA students eligible to fill out the CSS Profile?
Yes!  Both DACA and undocumented students can complete the CSS PROFILE.

How do I complete the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile?
You can apply on the CSS website. Be sure to list Syracuse University (code 002882) as a recipient school.

Do I qualify for the resident tuition rate?
Syracuse University is a private institution, so tuition is the same for all students, residents and nonresidents.

How can undocumented students apply for admission at Syracuse University?
All undergraduate applicants apply to Syracuse University via the Common Application.

For graduate studies, students may submit an application to the Graduate School.

What financial aid is available to me as an undocumented or DACA-holding student?
DACA and undocumented students may qualify for need-based financial aid, based upon their completion of the CSS PROFILE. Undocumented students may also receive merit or opportunity scholarships if they meet established criteria.

In addition, we have compiled a list of scholarships available to undocumented and DACA status students here.

My college requires students to complete the FAFSA to apply for institutional scholarships. If I have been granted DACA status and have received a social security number, can I complete the FAFSA?
We do not require a FAFSA at Syracuse University for DACA or undocumented students.

If the DACA program is canceled or revoked, will I be able to finish my Syracuse University degree?
The University has recently formulated a policy related to degree completion in the instance of immigration-related interruptions of study. Please visit the Pathways to Degree Completion page for more information.

Will my ability to receive financial aid be affected by the changes to DACA?
No.  We offer need-based institutional financial aid to undocumented students regardless of DACA status.

Can I still use services, such as health care and counseling services at the Barnes Center at The Arch, if my DACA expires?

Is Syracuse University legally required to assist the federal government with immigration enforcement?  What actions will Syracuse University take if immigration policy at the federal level changes?
Absent a subpoena, warrant or court order, we do not voluntarily assist, or act on behalf or at the direction of, federal officials in connection with immigration investigations or raids.  Should federal immigration law or policy change, we will review our procedures in light of such changes.

How does Syracuse University protect the privacy of students’ personal information?
All of our students are protected under FERPA and HIPPA, regardless of status.

For additional questions, please refer to the Know Your Rights section.